Create Deeper & More Authentic Connections


The capacity to skillfully and adaptably interact with others in a way that fosters understanding, intimacy and connection can be summed up in the term “relational competency.” This competency is such a valuable thing for our own development and a way where we can have a more positive impact in the world. It also opens a much broader playing field for more younger parts of us to become available to be contacted such as repressed anger or sadness for example.

IMG_9194It can be challenging to set up a relational practice container that enables true connection to take place as opposed to simply swapping stories about their spiritual process. When facilitating relational practice, I invite people to offer 75% of their attention to what they are experiencing within their own body and only 25% of their attention to what the person is speaking about. This enables the listener to share the emotional and energetic impact of what the speaker was saying. This develops a different degree of trust in relationship as well as a capacity to be very transparent, in the moment, and present in a way that fosters intimacy, safety and a real shared space.

I would encourage you to practice this with a friend. Set a timer for 3 min and use a prompt such as…

-a soul gift of mine that I would like to be giving more is…I would give more by…
-an area in my life where I feel I could use some healing is…
-what makes me feel emotionally safe with another person is…
-or some other area of inquiry that interests you

Allow the speaker to share for the three minutes and the listener listens with the 75/25 attention as described above. After the timer goes off, set the timer for another three minutes and the listener then shares what they experienced in their body as their partner was sharing. Once the listener is done sharing, there is dialogue about the experience and what is being learned. Then switch. Feel free to extend these time limits to what feels right and it can be important to set limits to not continue to emphasize the importance of content. There is a way that the content is simply the carrier frequency of the deeper energetic transmission that comes from the body. How the body responds to what is being shared is much more indicative of truth than is what the content is stating.

Engaging in relational practice in other practice containers or engaging some of these practices and perspectives in your relationships will most likely not have all these nuances and structure in place. This implies that there is a degree of messiness, projection and ego-play that takes place. Its really great that people can feel empowered to begin to be more honest in their interactions with others but there are some pitfalls to watch out for…

•notice when you are “volleying” pain back and forth while using sophisticated psychological or spiritual language. This is where we get caught in abstractions and ideas about connection all the while when there is little true intimacy and understanding happening. Check out a caricature of this here.

•the messages that Life gives you are trustable, yet they may come through messy and unskillful messengers. For instance, someone might give you a bunch of feedback and 90% of it is projection based on their being triggered by you. However, we need to really remain present to be able to receive that 10% of Truth given to us by Life through this person, and allow the 90% projection to pass on by. Its important to remember that there is no such thing as 100% projection. If someone is accusing you of something, it exists somewhere in you and if you can’t feel it, its in your blind spot within your body/energetic field.

Redwoods_and_sunshine•when you experience yourself in a dialogue where you are feeling unsafe, defensive or charged in some way, its most likely time for you to step back and address the underlying feeling as opposed to remaining talking about the content at hand. If we remain stuck in the loop of process, we create endless discussions that don’t lead to healing or mutual understanding. When you feel triggered, drop the content and stay with the feeling of yourself or others, to foster a place where unconscious parts can surface, be felt, and be witnessed in service of healing. If you are unable to stay with the feeling in a way that feels safe, its important to be able to draw boundaries and take space on your own to down-regulate your emotions.

An essential part of relational competency is the realization that we are all karmically entangled with each other, especially the people that you “know.” Getting triggered and triggering others is an implicit part of Life. We are learning how to work skillfully within this triggering, so we can decipher and receive the somatic truth underneath the emotional trigger. If we are hoping that we are getting to a place where no triggers exist, then we justify NOT being present to how things are in service of an ideal reality that does not exist.

Click here for more resources for cultivating clear, conscious and nurturing relationships in your life.
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